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New routes from LHR to ALC and VCE - strategy???

New routes from LHR to ALC and VCE - strategy???

Old Jan 21, 03, 5:39 am
  #1  
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New routes from LHR to ALC and VCE - strategy???

See http://www.flybmi.com/bmi/en-gb/sect...?p=194&Rid=165

Release Date: 21 January 2003


bmi launches routes to Alicante and Venice - new direct scheduled services from London Heathrow


bmi, the UK's second largest full service scheduled airline, is launching two new routes, from London Heathrow to Alicante and Venice, in its summer schedule.

The daily services, which will be operated using 150-seat Airbus A320s, go on sale today (Tuesday 21 January) with the first flights taking off on 12 April. Fares will start from 47 one way to Alicante and from 37 one way to Venice.*

Neither destination is currently served by scheduled services from Heathrow and bmi is confident of high demand, particularly from the leisure market.

Austin Reid, bmi chief executive officer, said:

"We are delighted to be launching new direct scheduled links from Heathrow to these popular destinations. Alicante and Venice are key leisure destinations and we believe that by responding to the absence of direct scheduled services from London's most popular airport we are filling an important gap in the market. Flights are timed to offer convenient connections with our domestic network, and coupled with bmi's competitive one-way fare structure, we expect the services to be highly popular with travellers from across the UK."

flight timetable from London Heathrow to Alicante
depart 1150 hours, arrive 1530 hours, Monday to Sunday

flight timetable from Alicante to London Heathrow
depart 1615 hours, arrive 1755 hours, Monday to Sunday

flight timetable from London Heathrow to Venice
depart 1450 hours, arrive 1755 hours, Monday to Sunday

flight timetable from Venice to London Heathrow
depart 1840 hours, arrive 1950 hours, Monday to Sunday

-----------------------------------------

Not sure what to make of this. While I welcome the enhanced weekend break possibilities (VCE in particular), and bmi has traditionally had a certain focus on leisure routes (PMI for instance), I do find it slightly strange for them to be launching routes with little or no business travel - I thought the idea was to bolster Star Alliance by launching routes to places with substantial business (and leisure) demand like LIN. This is especially true now that bmi baby is growing into a major business for them - how do they expect to differentiate if they're serving more and more predominantly leisure destinations. Also seems at odds with other recent announcements (MAN-TLS was a very smart move given the Airbus links between the two areas).

I suppose they must have thought that the number of slots available wouldn't let them offer a competitive frequency to a business destination, and opportunistically target a couple of routes to see how they play. Hardly a cohesive business strategy though, is it?



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Old Jan 23, 03, 8:55 am
  #2  
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justplanes.com has flight numbers and equipment:

22/01 - Bmi will inaugurate daily nonstops from Heathrow to Alicante on 12Apr03

Schedules as follows :
BD461 LHR 1150-1530 ALC
BD462 ALC 1615-1755 LHR
Flights will be operated with an Airbus A320.

.

22/01 - Bmi will inaugurate daily nonstops from Heathrow to Venice on 12Apr03

Schedules as follows :
BD467 LHR 1450-1755 VCE
BD468 VCE 1840-1950 LHR
Flights will be operated with an Airbus A320.

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